This whole adoption thing is a whole new process and adventure. And unpredictable and not exactly laid out or logical. With giving birth there is a pretty set timeline. The baby arrives in about 9 months give or take and then you stay in the hospital for a couple days or a few more, and then you bring the baby home and your life is never the same. And you are suppose to remember to send in the paper work to get the birth certificate. Don’t forget that. We did. (oops!)
With adoption its a little more convoluted but with less morning sickness and stretch marks. First off, people don’t accidentally adopt like they “accidentally” get pregnant. The day we turned in our packet of paper work was not the first time we decided to adopt, it had been a decision made many years ago and the paper work had taken A LONG TIME to complete. As well as a few sets of finger prints.
After the paper work is turned in you are put on a waiting list.
And so we waited. We then got the call to set up our home study. Which meant we made a mad dash to Home Depot to buy fire escape ladders for the bedrooms and wall outlet covers. While we cleaned and put everything away our 4 year old put the wall outlet covers in all the outlets.
The Home Study, involves a social worker coming over a few different times to talk through everything and go over everything that you put on paper a few months before. And asking more questions. Like, “how compatable are you with your spouse sexually?” (seriously is that anyone’s business) and “what do you remember about elementary school?” (Um, the day we had to dissect sheep’s lungs and my dentist was my adult volunteer and that grossed me out?)
After that the Home Study is sent off to the state for them to read over and “approve”. Then its back to waiting again.
The Department of Homeland Security gets involved and we have to fill out immigration paperwork and get more finger prints to verify that we are not terrorists.
And then its back to waiting again.
And then finally we get the call that there is a little one waiting for us. This is known as “referral”. We were given his file and got to review it and knew that he was a good fit for our family. We had some more paperwork to sign.
And its back to waiting again.
Where do things go from here? The next step, now that everything has been signed is for Korea to grant our child Emigration (or Exit) Permission. Emigration is the opposite of Immigration. A couple of years ago, Korea changed their processes and things shut down for about 10 months. Right now they are in the process of catching up, but there is quite a backlog.
There is a government agency in Korea that reviews all the files and then grants the EPs. Before we can do that, all of our paperwork will be updated and sent to our agency in Korea to be translated. We may have to redo finger prints and update our home study depending on when that comes. Once its all translated then it gets submitted for EP review and approval. Right now the process in Korea is taking about 12-13 months post referral.
And so we wait.
Once the file has been submitted for EP it has been taking 2-3 months to be approved. After it is approved then a few days or weeks later it is submitted to court.
A judge is assigned to it and reviews everything. And then the judge assigns a court date.
We will be notified of that court date and will fly to Korea for it. We will get to meet Edric JoonSoo before we go to court one or two times and talk with his foster mom and find out what things he likes and how to comfort him.
After court we will fly back home and wait for final approval, which is taking 3-6 weeks post court right now. Once we have that final approval we will fly back, take custody of Edric. We will have to obtain his Visa, and after that is granted which takes 1-2 days, we will fly home. Finally.
Its a lot of hurry up and then wait. And wait. In the mean time we will be getting semi regular updates and photos. We will be sending him packages as well. Its a long process, but we are praying that things begin to go faster and we can bring him home even sooner. Until then, we know that we have a Heavenly Father watching over him. And so we wait.